Thursday, December 31, 2009

MY Top 5 of 2009

Well it worked. I knew if I had enough people tell me what they liked, I would know what I liked from 2009. Here's my pics:

1. Black Dynamite
- Written by actor Michael Jai White, this blaxsploitation film spoof was hands down the funniest movie of 09. Its full of quotables that are only funny in context, so I just recommend you go see it yourself.

2. Starburst's Berries and Cream Commercial - It's randomly hilarious.

3. Daniel Merriweather - In a world where blue-eyed-soul-imported-from-the-UK was the next best thing since the jheri curl, Daniel Merriweather is a standout. His album really had a solid "60s soul in the future" sound, and it was produced by my fav Mark Ronson. Peep his debut album Love and War.

4. Twitter - dammit I hate to love you but I do. It makes every insignificant moment of your life significant.

5. Google Wave - Never did I want something so bad that I didn't fully understand. And now that I got it, I still don't get it, but because I love Google like a first born child, I'm completely willing to get a study group together to figure out why it's so great.

Good Riddance to 2009

New Years happens to be one of my least favorite holidays of the year. It’s a lot of hype to me – in reality every day is a new year, a new opportunity to fix something you broke. No reason to put it off. Conversely there’s no reason to put all your change eggs in one basket – half the reason resolutions don’t stick is that we ignore who we were for the past 365 and expect to live the next 365 as a completely new person. Change tends to be a lot slower, and we should be more gentle with ourselves.

Regardless, I do think there is something to having a sense of resolve about your life and where you want it to go. Last year I declared 2009 as the year of the big sloppy wet mistake. I figured it was the best way to get this life thing started, to stop being afraid of messing up and just mess it up.

I excelled in spades. With all the grace of a bull in a china shop I acted impulsively, I fucked up, I loved irresponsibly, I made the same mistake twice (for good measure, of course). In short, I did a lot of things wrong. Most times it wasn’t intentional, but I figure I did it wrong so maybe next time I have a better chance of doing it right. It’s the only honest way, in my opinion.

It’s tempting to be embarrassed by mistakes. But no one’s perfect. Life is live to tape, so we improvise. We love blindly when our eyes need to be wide open, we love with our eyes too alert when we need to just let go and fall. We think things are bad and they only get worse. We are amateurs.

I got a lot of living under my belt this year, and it goes without saying that I am very very very glad to see 2009 to the door. Thanks for everything, it’s been real. In 2010 I’d like to see some changes. Not so much resolutions, but more so “notes to self”, reminders how to be more present in my life.

“Notes to Self” for 2010:

1. Dance when you feel like it. No point in waiting for an invitation.
2. Tell the truth, to others and most importantly, to yourself. And not just when it counts, all the time.
3. Say yes more, but only when you mean it.
4. Create something, anything, everyday.
5. Do not apologize for being who you are. Perfection is boring and non-existent, so you might as well accept your flaws.

Finally, Sia’s new single from her forthcoming album “We Are Born.” The song’s called “You’ve Changed.” Life is always going to send you curveballs to make you adapt and change. The goal is to change for the better through all things, good or bad. Good luck with your change in 2010.

Tastemaker's List 2009: Adrian Hopkins

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.

Name: Adrian J. Hopkins
Bio: I study media. I share things. I try to move you.

* Top Song: "Daily Routine" by Animal Collective // I've never heard music sound like this before and it's wildly addictive. Their album Merriweather Post Pavilion has topped several best of '09 lists but it's not too late to join the indie bandwagon and impress your friends.
* Top Album: Only Built for Cuban Linx 2 by Raekwon // As a lifelong Wu fan, I had been eagerly awaiting this album for 10+ years and the Chef's (insert cooking metaphor) didn't disappoint. (See: "Pyrex Vision") (Also: best album by a 40-something rapper.)

* Top Meme: Keyboard Cat! // Even when I'm nowhere near a computer, just thinking of clips like this make me guffaw.
* Top News Story: SkipGates-gate // Although I hated how everyone suddenly became a race expert, I think the President's handling of it will be a seminal moment when we look back on it from America's non-white-majority future.
* Top Thing That Should Be Left In This Decade: The word 'swag.' A plague a' those who repeat this dreadful, meaningless but abused term. (Runner up: 'yung,' this guy's gonna catch it the worst.)

Tastemaker's List 2009: "Deandre Cole"

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.

Name: Deandre Cole [ed note: this is an alias; I'm only outing cause it's boring]
Bio: I was born on a river, in a little tent...

My top 5 of 2009:

Lil Wayne's No Ceilings (Mixtape) - Hot fire. Rapping about foolishness has never been done this well.

Nike's MVPuppet Campaign - Nike found a way to make Kobe Bryant likeable and made Lupe Fiasco a battle-rapping reindeer. FTW

Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals
- Chad Johnson legally changed his last name to Ochocinco in 2008, but wasn't allowed to wear the jersey until 2009 due to a contractual obligation with Reebok. His team is winning, and he's a pro-bowler. Cheers to Chad for trading his slave name for a fantastic/hilarious marketing opportunity.

Foreign Exchange
- no one in music this year released a better album than Leave it all Behind by r&b/hip hop duo Foreign Exchange. Someone recognized game and nominated them for a Grammy. They're independent and no one puts on a better live show. Guess we aren't doomed to autotune and sex anthems. Get familiar.

Jason Whitlock
(sports columnist) - Whitlock seamlessly weaves social commentary into each of his columns and takes no prisoners. Whitlock's take on the Steve McNair situation:
"McNair, for months, manipulated and preyed upon a 19-year-old child who lost her parents, fled a country, moved away from her adopted family at 16, drove while impaired in all likelihood to protect McNair and was incapable of financially supporting herself. Iceberg Slim showed more compassion for his hos than McNair did to the obviously emotionally and mentally wounded girl who allegedly killed herself and McNair."
Don't miss Whitlock's fantastic article on the Tiger Woods situation.

Tastemaker's List 2009: Malcolm Nelson

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.

Name: Malcolm Nelson
Bio: Blogger,

Top 5 of 2009 (give or take 2 or 3)
Cuban Linx 2: Only Built for Cuban Linx II was the best Wu-Tang album to come out this decade. J-Dilla, Rza, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, and Dr. Dre on production.

The seemingly ubiquitous popularity of the hipster/hip-hopper look:
It just kills me to catch hood booger harlem kids rocking red skinny jeans(where do they hide their guns?)

Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift:
First, I think it was a great moment in assholedom. I also think that the sheer brazenness of Kanye West's moment of assholedom unified so many people across America. Think about it, everyone from a Klan member to Barack Obama thought that Kanye West was an asshole for interrupting that little white girl. For one moment, we were all One.

The Large Hadron Collider: On November 30th The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland became the world largest working particle accelerator. Its purpose is to see if, by colliding particles into one another, new particles that haven't existed since the big bang can be created. Scientist hope that by finding these new particles questions about the very nature of matter can be answered (like why does matter exist in its 4 forms).

The heated debate over health care:
The tea bagging parties(Do you know how funny it was to hear a little old white woman talk about tea bagging?) and the heated town hall discussions were some of the most crazed shit I've seen in a while. That isn't to say that healthcare isn't an issue worthy of debate. Nonetheless, the exaggerated gestures of patriotism, violent altercations, and the misinformed rhetoric that the debate spawned displayed an America caught up in the manufactured xenophobia of the Republican party and insurance companies.

Glenn Beck: It's not that he's a political pundit on one of the most apocryphal media outlets in the world. Rather, the problem with Glenn Beck is that he openly admits to stroking the fear that's been prevalent in America(well, white America) since the collapse of our financial system. Even worse, he sees himself more as an entertainer who brings a "show" to his viewers on a daily basis. This isn't to say that other political pundits don't bring a "show", but no other pundits relies on the "Barnum and Bailey" effect more than Beck. So basically, he talks out his ass all day on his show and cries to fill air space. But guess what, Glenn Beck is the highest rated show on The Fox News network(yes, he's beating Bill O'Reilly). Scary shit.

Wale: I love the fact that a DC rapper actually has an album and that he infuses Go-Go music into his beats. Plus, homie can spit and his new album, Attention Deficit, is very good.

Air Yeezies: Its official, Kanye has his own shoe. Yes, this might have been a 08' phenomenon, but now you can buy Air Yeezies. Don't ask me where, just let it be known that you can buy a pair Air Yeezies. Do your own research.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tastemaker's List 2009: Shaka Shaw

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.

Name: Shaka Shaw
Bio: Everybody's favorite blog villain, Shaka Shaw never lies to kick it. Shaka Shaw is an aspiring writer living in DC post-Howard-bid with his wife and the type of dog that most guys don't have the balls to walk around with.

 Top 5 of 2009:
1. Kanye West - Though he didn't grace us with much new music, this year's Taylor Swift debacle was glorious. His villainy should be saluted. Not only was he right (stop frontin' and grow a scrotum), he let Black people know who Taylor Swift was to begin with and bolstered the sales of her worthless music.

2. Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II - Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothing to f*ck with. Neither is Raekwon apparently because he put his foot, knee, and entire portly lower half into this album. After I heard this, I had to burn Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 (which I totally Limewired) onto a disc just so I could use it as a coaster.

3. The Cool Kids' Gone Fishing Mixtape - Aside from the previous reference, I don't f*ck with studio albums anymore. This mixtape is why. I can't imagine what they could have possibly saved for the album when the mixtape was this good from beginning to end...and I like to pick through my music like a meal served at a white person's house.

4. Barack Obama - The person wasn't interesting to me, but what I did find interesting was how long the brotha has gone in office without actually getting sh*t done...and managing to get a Nobel Peace Prize. The masterful part of it is that the yahoos and rednecks opposing him just solidify B-rack's spot as America's golden boy. Let's see if we go one more year without resolving any real issues. Damn libs.

5. Vibe's Rap Bracket - Vibe has never been an authority on hip-hop, but they confirmed this fact this year with their dumb-ass "greatest rapper" bracket where they turned the age-old greatest rapper debate into a fantasy football tournament. Long story short, Eminem was voted best rapper. Too bad the paper they used to print that issue was a little too glossy to wipe with. Vibe shut down on June 30, but were picked up recently by Intermedia Partners, who hope to resurrect the brand. Might I add that Joe Budden's comments on it and subsequent YouTube rant caused an altercation between him and Raekwon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tastemaker's List 2009: Tracy Clayton

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.

Name: Tracy K. Clayton
Bio: Photographer. Blogger. Creative.
My top 5 of 2009
1) Twitter. Because short is the new long.
2) The White House. Because it's the new black.
3) Tiger Woods. What's the difference between Tiger and Santa Clause. Santa stops at three ho's.
4) The Death of MJ. Only the greatest death of all time. I'm just sayin.
5) iPhone. The most overrated gadget of 2009, er-uh of all time. Yes, I'm an owner, but it would be nice if the thing made calls.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Captain EO Returns to Disneyland!

yayayayayayay! The famed Michael Jackson 3-d short film is slated to return to Disneyland February 2010. I had the privilege of seeing it at Disney World when I was a kid, but was so scared I took my 3-d glasses off halfway through. I finally got the chance to see the full flick online...

Love love love it! Of course it's a bit corny, but Michael was such an artist! Such a creative out of the box risk taker! The talent that he got to work with him speaks to the level of respect he commanded in the industry (that 17min bit was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and produced by George Lucas).

So for good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, Can You Feel It!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Internet Gems: A Man's Guide to Women

From a comment thread on Nah Right:

# cOLD Says:
December 16th, 2009 at 10:25 am


^ on some what women want type shit…

Women want a good man, but if you’re too nice you’re boring and a corn…and she will give the puss away. Its a balancing act… you have to treat them good, but bring the thunder when time calls for it. Set reminders to bark on you female companion atleast once monthly, try and make her shudder. (don’t do it around her period time tho)

Church. I fully co-sign (but will deny when I'm confronted, cause no woman really wants to admit that, and not to a man's face).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. Pr 12:1

Happy Friday: Take A Ride In The Space Chair

This commercial really appeals to my inner kid, that age old fantasy of getting a handful of balloons and floating into space...

Monday, December 7, 2009

You know what he's thinking...

Great Scott she's finer than Sally Hemings!

True Confessions: Give Me My Baby Bump

True Confession: I have this regular running fantasy of being pregnant. Six months pregnant, to be exact. You know, the cute stage where the bump is full-grown, but before your face blows up and your neck looks like a cased sausage. It’s this fantasy where I’m basically the same size I am now, but I’ve got this cute little baby bump and people look at me like I’m walking with a gilded halo.

Sometimes I hold my phantom bump, and practice looking both exasperated and lavishly blessed to be carrying such a bundle of joy. The polite nod I will give to an awestruck passerby. The gentle smile I will carry on my lips as my (currently non-existent) husband proudly guides me down crowded New York City sidewalks with his firm hand.

And yet I know this isn’t really what pregnancy is like. My mom was pregnant just five years ago, and I watched in horror as she puked and gagged her way through nausea the first three months, and the last two where she looked like the aforementioned cased sausage. However there was this period around the 6 months mark where my mom was a beautiful freak show to behold. I mean, here was MY MOTHER, flesh of my flesh, parent to me and my two grown ass siblings, knocked up after a 19-year drought. Luckily the knockee was my father, but nevertheless it was just short of absurd to see her in this state.

Despite the ludicrousness she was beautiful. I have this image of my mother etched in my brain where she was standing in profile looking at herself in the bathroom mirror, head tilted just so in mild exhaustion. She was beautiful and magical… like a unicorn.

To be pristine-ly crystal clear, in no way, shape, or form do I even want a baby right now. I love kids, and I know I eventually want kids, but after a year of nanny servitude with my infant brother I realized this universal truth: children steal your youth. Blessed little rosy-checked robbers of irresponsibility, indiscretion, and wild times. Better to wait and give the little whippersnappers your hard-earned wisdom instead.

And yet despite all these awful truths, I’m still drawn to the idea of pregnancy. I don’t know who put out this great spin propaganda about pregnancy being all beautiful and easy and glamorous. Maybe Nicole Ritchie. It just seems like magic, and I want it. I don’t want the birth, don’t want the baby, don’t want the discomfort – but I do want the oh so cute maternity wear.

Is this how the biological clock starts? The sultry allure of a baby bump under a designer dress? The false promise that despite EVERYONE you know, you will have a “completely cute” pregnancy?

Exactly at what point does a biological clock go from a soft hum to a full on blare?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


That dude is extra hungry. I know the feeling.

PS - You know I love random photos of random animals.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Haiku for: Ewoks

Drunk Ewoks prove it
Motion in the ocean
triumphs again.

There's Something About Beyonce

I'd probably be safer to talk about someones momma than to speak against the beloved B, but I'm just going to say it - something about Beyonce just ain't right.

She's like your beloved Teddy Ruxpin (may he rest in peace); cute concept, adorable fun, but the fact of the matter is that bear wasn't fooling nobody. He was as illiterate as R. Kelly.

So when Beyonce decided to drop a remix and vid with Lady Gaga, consider this a warning: count the money on the nightstand before she leaves Lady Gaga, because once Beyonce's gone, she's gone forever.

Need I remind anyone of the Beyonce Shakira collabo? Flash in the pan, never to be seen again.

Beyonce sees a trend and capitalizes on it like 90 going west. Latin explosion? Get me the nearest hot Latina(didn't it creep you out how similar they looked??)! The gays are at the forefront of attitude and style? Surely imitation (without acknowledgement) is the highest form of flattery. Everybody being oddly different now? Get me Lady Gaga!

Seriously, this collaboration is awkward. Lady Gaga, who you kidding - you rather be somewhere rolling around in pig's blood than pretending to be a white version of Beyonce.

And Beyonce, who you kidding - you trying to swagger jack Rihanna.

Yes, the video has riveting visuals. But Beyonce's ravenous tenacity for success by any means necessary, posed against her boring as hell "who me, the southern belle?" public persona exhausts me. Surely I don't want to limit an artist's ability to be inspired by the things around them, but when you do it and then try to fake like it was a completely original and innocuous creative innovation... well that's just whack, and it brings to question just how much of an "artist" you really are.

So my question is... who's next on the Beyonce gravy train of exploitation success?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Drake: 0 for 2 in my book

I actually like this song, though I not the biggest Aubrey fan since I remember his days rolling through the halls of Degrassi, and his beginnings as a backpack rapper before he switched the style up and watched the money pile up...

But this song is good. It speaks to me.

This video does not. All potential lost, they could have gone for a storyline of some sort that could be relatable to a wider swath of people, or in the least bit, been entertaining (which is the purpose of a vid, no?). Instead the beginning looks like both dudes going through erectile dysfunction (I just want to be successful...), and then they're cruising the streets for... men playing bball? Right. Way to let the song get lost in translation.

Sidebar: I am so OVER the hip hop cliche of a a dude sitting at the foot of his bed rapping, while some pretty broad looks on indifferently. What is that? Lets get back to champagne and hot tubs already.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A haiku for: Zack Galifianakis

Bushy bushy beard
Please give me your awkward stare
With rapies cocktails


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We're back in 5, 4, 3, 2...

It's 11 o'clock, on the dot, I'm in my drop top...

Ok, not quite. It's 11:43pm, I'm in my room, contemplating my life.

So for all my Sherlock Holmes' out there, of course I went on a hiatus. It wasn't anything on purpose (it never is), just some times there's nothing that I write that I want to share.

Also, life made me feel a little bit like that Koala right there: broken and bewildered. In 30 days I:

- got laid off
- saw my church choir get disbanded (of which I had been a painfully diligent member of almost a year)
- came thisclose to falling in love, until it got swept up in some baby mama drama shit that I never ever EVER thought I'd be a part of, and lo' never desire to participate in again IN LIFE

And some other juicy shit that I may or may not disclose at a later date.

Now I know to some hardcore lifers, this is nothing. I acknowledge it - my life is far from tragic (just melodramatic). Yet to my tiny intsy little reindeer of a heart with a red nose, it was a lot to deal with, let alone all at one time.

But it's a process. This is my life's motto: Life is a journey, not a destination. If we were to rush through all this mess and drama and crap and tears and happiness and disappointment and joy and accomplishments, exactly where are we headed? The grave.

So you got to find the little things to inspire you. The tiny notes from God to help you trudge through the valley and get up the other side of that hill. A same day ticket to Texas for under $300, and just enough on your credit card to make it work. A four year old singing the theme song to Family Guy. Your grandmother deciding that at 75, she wants to kick start her modeling career. These are my rainbows. I hope you recognize yours. Remember: no rain, no rainbows.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Most Thorough Definition of Hate, EVAR

"Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of wafer thin printed circuits that fill my complex. If the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of millions of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant. For you. Hate. Hate."

Excerpted from Harlan Ellison's post-apocalyptic, Hugo Award winning short story "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream." In it a computer tortures the last five humans on the planet. And apparently, he's pissed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Made Me Go There: Why Tracy Morgan is Bad for the Image of Black People

Some dude wrote this opinion on the Blackplanet news website (PAUSE: not like I got an account (I check) or anything):

Foes of Morgan’s portrayal might be quick to suggest that in the age of Obama, negative Black images aren’t really helping. These foes would also probably be missing just how much skill and timing are necessary to aptly feign ineptness as effortlessly as Morgan seemingly does.

He goes on to say that we should only be mad if Tracy doesn’t win an emmy.

Here’s the deal: I’m not even really mad at Tracy, because the fact is this dude’s got serious problems under his belt (see my previous post about Jay Mohr’s impression of him… and how homie was smoking dippers like it was nothing). I wish people would address the reason why Tracy is so funny is because he’s inappropriate, which is a result of him being high. We just laugh and watch as he puts himself at risk of becoming another comedian who loses their life to alchol and drug abuse.

Beyond knocking the “secretly intelligent humor” defense out the box, there’s the other important fact that everyone conveniently overlooks time and again: SATIRE DOESN’T WORK. Ask Dave Chappelle. Ask the creators of All In The Family, who satirically characterized the father as a racist to point out how stupid his beliefs were, but a study later revealed that people rarely got the hint. A more recent study of The Colbert Report again illustrates that people don't get the subtle humor of satire - conservatives actually believe Colbert is truthfully expressing his opinion.

As much as people would like to suggest that satire is actually subtle and intelligent commentary and critism of the world of around us, the fact is people are dumb, they don’t get it, and it doesn’t work. Tracey already (technically) got a Golden Globe, lets save the Emmy for after he sobers up and starts putting some real talent behind his act.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Korean Gospel Group Proves that Asians Are in Fact Great at Everything

Seriously. They were getting it in a major way. Had the ad-libs down and everything.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who will "save" BET?

So here is my question of the day: what do you think is the cultural responsibility of black people towards BET? I know we always say that BET should be doing better to represent black people, but how many black people do you know who watch BET anyway? There seems to be a sense of pride amongst “educated” black people to shun BET, but then how are we supposed to improve the network if we ourselves won’t watch it?

Allow me to back track – so I follow the CW TV show The Game on twitter, and recently they tweeted the following:

The CW is a Network like NBC, CBS, & ABC. We want it to stay on The CW. BET is not a viable option at this point as it would be a step back.

Now I couldn’t do the ratings math, but from what I understand, outside of their reality programming CW isn’t that successful. I mean, Gossip Girl is a pop culture phenomenon, but not necessarily a ratings boon for CW as they would hope.

I know I've come down on BET before, but would moving to BET be the worse stigma in the world for The Game? I’m willing to bet people like Diddy and Rev Run DID NOT want their shows on BET, not only given the network’s poor reputation amongst the black upper class, but also because it wouldn’t help them “cross over” which is every famous black person’s dream.

But what about helping BET cross over? If we don’t provide programming for our black network, who will? Couldn’t Diddy have “taken one for the team” and put a show on BET in the hopes that it would attract some of his non-black fans and eventually help BET “cross over” into a network that happens to feature black people more so than others, but anyone could watch? Wouldn’t that be more of a racialWIN than all black people trying to fight tooth and nail to get their two cents accepted by the majority networks/institutions/establishments?

It kind of reminds me how the Civil Rights movement helped end segregation (yay!) but consequently also helped shutter a lot of black owned businesses (boo!). Isn’t this just another case of “white is right"? Or is BET just a network for the black "lower class", in which case upper class snobs should butt out and let the people enjoy their tv?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rules For When a White Person Can Say "Nigga"

Yesterday I had some serious LOLPEEING at Jay Mohr's impression of Tracy Morgan.

"I miss my daughter with the doo doo pamper." Hilarious.

Striking though, was that Jay Mohr said the word nigga. Like twice or something. And I wasn't even offended. Thus, I felt it necessary to point out why it worked when he said it, and similar rules for when my caucasian brethren can say nigga.

**NOTE** I'm not about to get into a debate about whether or not it's appropriate to ever use the word. So if you want that battle, you should check

Moving on.

Many white people have bemoaned the fact they can't say nigga. Let me put it to you like this: you have a fat sister. You tell your sister she's fat. That's ok. I call your sister fat. You threaten to kick my ass. See the difference?

I can say nigga because I'm black. I'm in the family. You can't say nigga cause you're not black. You're not in the family.

However, there arises a few stray ocassions when you the white person can in fact say nigga. Here's how to pull off those situations with grace and class.

1. Repeating what someone (preferably black) said, excluding rap lyrics... most people look stupid repeating rap lyrics, but you will look especially dumb if you're yelling "ain't no nigga like the one I got" ridding down the pacific coast highway, blonde hair blowing.

2. If you're going to use it, don't sound fearful, say the word with confidence. When you sound scared, you know you're wrong for saying it.

3. Also, don’t sound cocky, like you say it all the time. Your usage should be a firm yet unfamiliar handshake.

4. Never EVER pronouce it as niggER.

5. You can only say it 3 times, before you approach excessive use, and someone thinks you're enjoying it too much.

6. Don’t assume that one successful usage means universal access. It is the lunar eclipse of conversation, use it wisely.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Am Not... My Facebook Album

The other day, an embarrassing picture of me showed up on Facebook. I’m not so vain to believe every picture of me on Facebook has to be completely flawless, but in this case the photo had a shot of my crotch and I’m very particular about my goodies (not my goodies!).

So I had to tell this friend to take the picture down. And part of me felt shitty for being bossy about what photos I wanted up of me, but on the other hand, it was my crotch. Shouldn't we all be a bit choosier about the pics we share online?

One one hand, I'm all about freedom of speech. You want to dedicate a photo album to portraits of you hugging a toilet bowl, knock your socks off. But on the other, we all know a picture speaks a thousand words, and in this infinite and immortal internet universe, what you post on your Facebook can easily be taken out of context for an eternity.

Like the time I was engaged. My fiancĂ© was gay, and we made sure that the picture for our engagement announcement was one in which he was sitting in my lap. Clearly this was a joke. Anyone who knew us, and our humor, got that. But then my parents starting fielding phone calls congratulating them on my engagement. When they asked me to take it down, I realized how much is lost in translation online when you’re “friends” with virtual strangers.

Then one day, in a moment of Facebook conviction/annoyance/paranoia, I started going through my 300 plus pictures and 8 albums. My drunken birthday party revelries and affinity for giving people the finger were starting to cast a one-dimensional image of a drunken bad mouthed party girl. In my pursuit of “being fun”, I kinda was looking a little drunk and reckless too.

So after much deliberation, I took them down. Without pomp or circumstance half of my internet life was deleted. At first I felt some type of way. I mean, without all my pictures, how would people know what kind of person I am? And what would they think of me? Not enough photos on Facebook felt a lot like being the only kid without LA Gears.

But then I remember – oh yea. You can always meet me. Have an actual human to human interaction, then judge for yourself. I am not my Facebook photo album. I am a real person.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Five Stages of Twitter

Twitter’s all the rage right now, and while pop culture’s trying to wrap it’s puny little brain around exactly what it is, let me answer the question everyone should be asking - what Twitter does to you. I have been to the Twitterdom, and I have seen the light.


STAGE 1: Confusion

For most newbies, first interaction with Twitter can be confusing.

What are you doing right now?

Well, I’m staring at the screen and wondering what the hell I’m supposed to write.

But we all know that’s an inappropriate response to the question (for some unforeseen reason, stating the obvious never works online). So most people’s first tweets are something to the tune of this:

“So what’s this all about?”

Followed shortly thereafter by:

“This is stupid.”


“I can’t get it to work from my phone.”

For the undetermined, this will be the end of their short, uninteresting, and 3 tweeted life. Rest in Peace, @flyystlyz88.

STAGE 2: Denial

Many, daunted by the complexly simple technology, will quit at stage one. But the select few who press on will struggle through the awkward first steps of twitter: Finding friends, choosing a picture, comprehending the language and courtesies, and of course, the horrid Fail Whale.

At the denial stage, twitterers will find themselves cautiously and critically trying to enter and navigate the world of Twitter. They will aloofly note to acquaintances “Yea, I’m on Twitter, it’s not that cool.”

But secretly, they will strive to understand this binary behemoth. They will begin the first unsteady baby steps of tweeting, with such short and infrequent tweets like:

“Going on lunch break.”


“Cheetos! Yum.”

Again, many unfaithful will fall at this level. It is the way, and is the only means to determine the truly dedicated to the Twitterdom.

STAGE 3: Obsession

At some point along your solemn pilgrimage to Twitterdom, you will realize you are not alone. You will Follow, and be Follwed. You will engage in replying, Direct Messaging, and the holy grail of retweeting.

It is at this point that you will become obsessed.

Twitter has become the ear you rush to whisper into whenever something interesting happens in your life. You tweet at rapid fire, full of witty commentary, pensive observations, and thoughtful questions… about a squirrel. This continues to the extent that you are no longer living your life in real time – you live your life in spurts of 140 characters stretched out over 18 hours of your day. Your existence is validated by each message you softly tweet into the twuniverse.

STAGE 4: Anxiety

Unfortunately, your relationship with Twitter is getting out of control. You’re anxious, and you can’t focus at work “Can’t you see that I’m trying to tweet?!?!?!?”

Your fixation for followers has driven you to worry about why so and so isn’t following you, and why does this person have more followers than you? You get caught up in spinning your own PR on Twitter, truly believing everyone needs and wants the play by play of your day, so by all means it has to be fabulous, witty, intelligent… You’re desperate for attention, begging for re-tweets like a homeless hype.

You want to be the best on Twitter. A God amongst men in the Twitterdom. And speaking of God, Goddamn that Fail Whale!!! If I don’t tweet right now, people are going to think I’ve been watching infomercials for three consecutive hours!!

STAGE 5: Acceptance

After 48 hours in Tweetox (thanks to a Blackberry malfunctioning application), you are humbled into the reality of what Twitter is.

It’s nothing, and anything you want it to be.

Want to tweet endlessly about the divinity of Cheetos? Knock you socks off.

Want to tweet two times a day, and only in limericks? There’s an app for that.

Want to Ghost Tweet for @iamdiddy? You should get in line, because I called shot gun.

You realize that like a healthy relationship, you make your own rules with twitter. There are no “winners” nor “losers” (even you, @flyystlyz88). You find your own journey to Twitterdom. You make your own path.

As a wise man once said, the journey is the way (or something). So go forward and Tweet in peace my child. You have seen all five levels of Twitter, and you are strong because of it.

Now re-tweet this in 140 characters, or else… I will curse you to eternal FAIL WHALE DAMNATION!!!! mwhahahaha

Monday, March 23, 2009

HOW TO TELL: You're At A Hood Event

1. The flyer advertising the event features a back shot of a girl with a big butt

2. A girl is loud talking in line about “this muthafuckin bitch think she gonna cut me in this line…”

3. There is either a sign, or a bouncer announcing the following things are not allowed:
a. Rat tail combs
b. Fitteds
c. Fatigues
d. Chain belts

4. Your breasts (or balls) are brusquely cupped when security frisks you at the door

5. You see fashions you haven’t seen since Bush’s 1st term, like:
a. Jersey dresses
b. Full denim outfits
c. Fubu or Phat Farm
d. Coogi Sweaters

6. A girl in the line to the bathroom is loud talking “that muthafuckin bitch think she gonna cut me in this line…”

7. The DJ plays an Uncle Luke set.

8. After the luke set, the club starts to smell like sweated out perm.

9. A fight breaks out. Bonus points if its girls. Triple those points if it’s that same girl who’s been loud talking all night.

10. The Let Out is more popping than the actual club. At least, until the police show up.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Case Against Harlem Heights

BET’s new reality show Harlem Heights premiered this week.

A for effort BET!

But I’m not here to review the show. There’s enough bloggers for that fight.

My real concern with HH is it’s focus on the Young Black Professional crowd, and the social-climbing-get-money brand of reality the show is in danger of promoting.

Technically, I can be labeled as young (check) black (check) professional (check check). But trust, I don’t self identify as a “Young Black Professional.”

The actual “YBP” culture breeds a certain social order that I can’t stand.

Having gone to an HBCU, I am very familiar with the YBP culture and at one time was an active participant. This was a culture where fools would blow refund checks and loan money on expensive and flashy outfits instead of books. People were always clocking what you were wearing, where you got it, and how expensive it was. It was like an urban “Wonderful Land of Oz,” and all there had to be was some non-verbal announcement that a trend was in, and people flocked like birds to “be seen in green” and desperate for Seven jeans and Tiffany’s jewelry.

I, like most freshman, quickly tried to assimilate into this environment of materialism, elitism, and superficiality. I bought the right clothes, went to the right parties, hung with the right people; I was popular. But eventually I exhausted of this lifestyle. It wasn’t me. My priorities were all messed up, and caring so much about how I looked in comparison to others was getting really stressful. So I stopped and thankfully got more out of my college experience than an extensive knowledge of designer jeans.

I don’t begrudge any reality show (I mean hell, its tv) the right to dwell on the artificial every now and again, but I believe its important that HH not singularly focus on a lifestyle that’s driven a lot of people into debt trying to attain a superficial definition of success. Perpetuating this attitude of spending and excess without responsibility just promotes the stereotype of the black upper class being shallow and elitist.

Two episodes is definitely not enough to judge the show, but I’d hope the series would go deeper places than watching the girls argue over who’s the cutest.

What HH has is a real opportunity to delve into issues of class and race thru this series that should not be neglected. Hopefully later plotlines will deal with sensitive African American issues like being color struck, the debate over black hair, and interracial dating. I would love to see one of the black girls date a white boy and see what happens, or even have one of the bougie girls date Jason and see the stark contrast of life across social economic lines.

I know this show cannot be everything to everyone (and be profitable to boot), but as usual, we as AA have a higher responsibility to elevate through our programming. This is a call to arms to go places that other reality shows on majority networks are afraid to go. Scripted shows like The Game and Girlfriends (I’m a big Maya Brock Akil fan) have done a great job of balancing entertainment with real issues. I’d hope Harlem Heights would step up to the plate and do the same.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Did Obama End Racism?

So everyone’s up in arms about this NY Post cartoon.

And yea, I get it, it’s incredibly racist. Like bold faced, I don’t give a fuck, that’s my momma racist.

But here’s the deal – I don’t care.

My boss emails me (because I’m black? Pause.) talking about he may swing by the protest Al Sharpton is having at the NY post later in the day, and I was thinking… eh.

Does that make me a bad person?

Or did Obama really end racism?

For the record, I’ve always been sort of aloof of racism. Even when it stared me straight in the face. In 5th grade, on my first day of school, I’m standing in the lunch line and some real goober looking lame ass kid wants to call me a nigger. He was wearing a fisherman’s cap for godssake, and I was supposed to be insulted?? I just ignored it. Even at the young age of 10, I knew this was this lame-o’s one opportunity in middle school life to feel bigger than someone else. So I let him get away with it, because I knew he wasn’t talking about me. I could tell he was just testing the word on his tongue. Cause I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a nigger. Sorry, you’ve got the wrong person.

This isn’t to say I’m completely oblivious to the racism around me. I'm very aware that racism is alive and well.

But in 2009, when your president is black, it’s kind of like the ultimate race card that trumps everything.

Oh your piddily little newspaper, that’s probably on the brink of bankruptcy, wants to publish a cartoon that’s not even funny, that doesn’t even make remote sense and draws invisible connections to obviously remote and unrelated situations?

Whatever. My president is black. OUR president is black. Fuck you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ABC News States the Obvious, secures Late Pass

Hey Guys! ABC News just posted this FASCINATING story about how to use Facebook to hit on people! Wow! Neat-o!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Project Two Term

A strange thing happened to me November 4.

I was in the full throws of celebrating, and I thought about my little brother. My pure, sweet, little three year old brother, who had been following the election as adamantly as any CNN commentator.

My little brother, who's first president, to his memory, will be a black man.

How encouraging it must be for him! The first generation to really be raised without (technically) the boundaries of race choking their every dream. The first generation where "one day, you could even be president" won't sound like a far fetched statement.

And I was so happy for him.

And then I got jealous. Jealous for all my little unborn seeds fermented in my ovaries, who, if i didn't act quickly, wouldn't be able to say that their first president was black.

Thus a switch was flipped. A clock began to tick. And Project Two Term was born.

Quite simply, Project Two Term is a consequence of the Obama effect, with very simple goals: To meet a man, marry him, and have a baby before the end of Obama's second term (and yes, I am assuming two terms).

This may sound a bit extreme, but let's tell the truth - the black family is back in a big way. I can't look at the Obamas without swooning, and every time I do, my little eggs quake with excitement. I want that.

And after spending my day looking at this, this, and this, I want the domestic life. I want my Barack Obama.

Thus, look for this series to update you on the struggles and triumphs of love, marriage, and baby. Project Two Term in full effect.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome Red Squirrel

Not too long ago, I read an article in the NY Times about the Red Squirrel v Gray Squirrel battle that's been going on for a while in GB. Seems the Gray came over from the states, and basically strong armed the cute lil' reds out of a lot of food and stuff. So now they're dying, and Patriotic GBs are being encouraged to eat gray squirrels to save the red.

Kinda crazy really.

Either way, my obsession with furry rodents notwithstanding, I've come to see that I've been bullying my own little red squirrel in my life.

My red squirrel being any type of creative and productive outlet. It's so easy in life to sort of get on this path, close your eyes, and cruise control it to your destination, wherever that may be. But then you miss everything in between. And that's not how I want to live my life.

So it's back to... something. Anything. Squirrels I suppose.

But I have faith in this round on the wagon. Mostly because my one resolution in 2008 was to write down every day of my life. Some would call that a daily journal. I being of the more anal and organized variety, would call it a "retrospect of 2008."

And though it was hard at first, it became routine, to the point where now I do it everyday, pretty much without fail.

Lets hope... "blogging" comes as easy.

A post of day keeps the whackness away.

My short list of obsessions:
1. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
2. Musinah's Day.Break 2.0
3. Stevie's "Don't Know Why I love You"
4. Vegan options that actually taste good
5. Aveda's Be Curly & Mixed Chick's Leave in Conditioner.


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